How to Make the Perfect Chicken Nachos

by zesty on February 1, 2013 · 25 comments

As you read this headline, you may say to yourself – “who does this Zestycook guy think he really is”? Well don’t….. I just created that headline to get your attention and now that you are reading this I will inform you that this is just my opinion on how to make the perfect nachos.

Nachos are a fun appetizer, or a perfect first course for a Mexica-themed party or like at our house – the main course! Nachos are easy to customize with a variety of toppings.

These chicken nachos are absolutely delicious – don’t count on having any leftovers!

Really, there are three serious ingredients to consider when creating the perfect plate of nachos and those are chips, cheese, and the toppings.

The Chips

I prefer to go with the white corn tortillia and I often get the triangle shaped chips because there is more surface area for the cheese and toppings. Some thing to consider when choosing your chips are the level of salt and the thickness of the chip. You do not want the chip too salty that you cannot taste all the other ingredients and have it over power your experience. As for the thickness, you don’t want the chip to thin where it gets all soggy…. that is a shame! And also you do not want the opposite where it is so very thick that all you have are dry chips.

The Cheese

I like to get a high end cheddar, monterey jack or pepper jack cheese and shred it myself with the coarse grater. Some of the pre packaged cheese is often grated too thin. I also found that buying the cheap no name brand cheeses – they are alot greasier than the others so for that reason I steer clear of the no name cheeses for my nachos.

The Toppings

I am pretty sure I vary slightly from the average nacho guru. I prefer chicken on my nachos as you can tell by the title. To prepare the chicken, you can use left over chicken breast, thighs, or use boneless skinless ( really whatever you have on hand – but i like to use white meat again just for the moisture content). I like to also use a combination of jalepeno peppers or chilies, green peppers and red onion and then once out of the oven top with fresh tomatoes.

As you can see, moisture content for me is huge when making nachos. The last thing you want is a soggy nahco without any CRUNCH! Next time you are craving nachos, try this technique.


  • 2 cooked boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • 2 tablespoons taco or burrito seasoning
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • 2 tablespoons mild or hot salsa
  • 3/4 cup sour cream
  • 1 small can/jar chopped green chiles (hot), drained
  • 1/4 cup green onion, thinly sliced
  • 1/4 cup of chopped green peppers
  • 1/4 cup of chopped red onion
  • 1 bag white corn tortilla chips
  • 1 1/2 cups shredded Monterey Jack or Pepper Jack or Cheddar cheese
  • 1/2 cup tomato, seeded and chopped
  • bowls of salsa, sour cream, and guacamole for dipping


  1. Chop chicken into bite-sized pieces. In a medium saucepan, combine chicken, taco seasoning, water, and salsa over mdium heat. Cook mixture until chicken is heated through and sauce is well-blended.
  2. Remove mixture from heat and allow to cool to room temperature. Often times I do this ahead of time just to be ready.
  3. To cook the nachos, I use a pizza stone and I usually preheat the stone for about 15 minutes on 400 degrees. Then I take out the pizza stone with an oven mitt ( cause it will be hot… ) and start to place the nachos on the stone. I try and get the nachos close together but not overlap them. Once placed on the stone, I sprinkle a little cheese over the chips and then place the chicken mixture on( making sure not to place an extra liquid on the chips ). After the chicken, I go with the peppers, chilies, and onions spreading a liberal amount over the chips. Once complete I add the cheese. Another tip I try to follow is not to make the chips disappear with the cheese ( I spread a nice amount but don’t over do it ). If your having a large crowd I tend to make multiple batches because I don’t like to layer the chips due to the soggy possibility.
  4. I then bake them on the middle rack at 400 degrees until cheese is melted through and the chips start to crisp around the edges. I then top with tomatoes, and green onions and serve with salsa, sour cream and guacamole.


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